What is the role of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in HIV screening during pregnancy?

Updated: Apr 02, 2019
  • Author: Ashley T Peterson, MD; Chief Editor: Ronald M Ramus, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

The most common screening test is an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), which looks for the presence of antibodies. If this test result is positive, the ELISA is repeated to eliminate laboratory error prior to proceeding to a confirmatory test by Western blot. The ELISA has 98% sensitivity. False-negative results may occur early in the disease, and false-positive results have been reported after certain vaccines. Repeat testing several months later usually confirms seronegativity in such cases. A positive test is sent for Western blot.


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